Conjunctivitis in cats - Causes, symptoms and treatment


Conjunctivitis in cats It is one of the most frequent eye ailments. It can be detected easily by observing redness in the eyes, which is usually a sign of infection.

It is a quite big annoyance for the cat, so it is necessary to treat it as soon as possible, also to prevent it from getting worse or can lead to other more serious diseases, as the cornea rupture.

In this article we will help you cope with the problem of conjunctivitis in cats so that your pussy is well again as soon as possible.

Conjunctivitis in cats

Conjunctivitis in cats develops the same as in humans. It consists of one inflammation of the conjunctive mucosa of the eyes, the membrane that covers the eyeball. The eyelids are also often affected.

Domestic cats most susceptible to conjunctivitis are puppies, especially those younger than 6 months. The propensity is aggravated if the cat is not well taken care of or if he has spent a lot of time in the street.

Sometimes, conjunctivitis in cats is a sign that the animal suffers from other diseases. If your cat has conjunctivitis, do not hesitate to take it to the veterinarian for a study and make a diagnosis. That is the only way to know the cause of the infection. It is very important to treat it on time, if you let it go, the cat could even go blind! It is a easy to treat disease and you should not worry too much, but that doesn't mean we can ignore it.

Types of conjunctivitis in cats

Yes, conjunctivitis can be of different types. Are these:

  • Waxy conjunctivitis: It is mild and easy to cure. The eye membrane becomes pink and inflamed and the cat does not stop tearing. This type of conjunctivitis in cats it is often associated with respiratory diseases, because it can be the result of climatic conditions that produce allergy.
  • Follicular conjunctivitis: In this type of conjunctivitis, a kind of hard layer is formed around the affected eye. The tearing is denser, as if it were mucus. Follicular conjunctivitis usually goes associated with other types of allergies and infections.
  • Purulent conjunctivitis: It is an advanced and complicated state of waxy conjunctivitis that occurs when the condition is aggravated by a bacterial infection. The tearing is so thick that it becomes pus, and scabs appear around and inside the eyelids. Can be caused by viral or respiratory diseases.

Causes of conjunctivitis in cats

The main causes of conjunctivitis in cats are:

  • Eye infections respiratory problems or allergies
  • Lack of personal hygiene of the cat or an unhealthy environment.
  • Virus feline rhinotracheitis and other serious diseases that have conjunctivitis among their symptoms.
  • Mortal diseases: leukemia, toxoplasmosis, immunodeficiency, peritonitis ...
  • Cancer, especially ocular lymphomas.
  • Trauma: blows, falls, introduction of foreign bodies in the eye ...
  • Congenital diseases.

Know the symptoms of conjunctivitis in cats

The most common symptoms of feline conjunctivitis are:

  • Eye irritation. The eyes and the inner part of the eyelids become noticeably red.
  • Constant tearing That ends up inflaming the eye.
  • Unusual tearing, yellowish or greenish, as well as excess legañas.
  • Itching, so the cat does not stop scratching.
  • The annoyance It makes your eyes narrow.
  • Changes in iris color if conjunctivitis is allowed to progress.
  • Opacity of the cornea.

If you detect that your cat has one or more of these symptoms, it is very likely that he has conjunctivitis. See the veterinarian as soon as possible so he can prescribe treatment. You will see that soon it improves!

Home remedies for conjunctivitis in cats

It is best to go to the vet, as we have already mentioned, but we are going to tell you some home remedies that you can use to calm your discomfort while the time comes for the consultation:

  • Clean your eyes with a sterile gauze impregnated in physiological serum. This will prevent you from accumulating legañas and that the situation can get worse.
  • You can use cold chamomile infusion to soothe itching. It can also serve an infusion of pomegranate grains. Apply it with sterile gauze.
  • The Artificial tear drops can also be of great help. Drop a drop in each eye and cover them with cloths impregnated in warm water.
  • Trim as much hair as possible from around the eyes. Be careful not to hurt him! If you don't feel sure you can do it, you can take your cat to a professional.

Repeat the procedure you choose several times a day and remember! Always use one clean gauze for each eye or you could pass the infection from one to another. These home remedies can help alleviate symptoms, but they will not help cure conjunctivitis in cats. Going to the vet is very important.

We hope this article has helped you better understand and treat conjunctivitis in cats. See you soon!

What is feline conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is about the inflammation of the mucosa of the eye, that is, the membrane that covers it and the inside of the eyelids. It can occur for various reasons and the symptoms are very clear, so it is easy to detect it in our felines. Conjunctivitis can be a symptom of another more serious disease, so although we can treat conjunctivitis at home with some remedies, we must take our partner to the veterinarian to detect or rule out a secondary disease.

What is conjunctivitis in cats and what are the symptoms

Conjunctivitis in cats is a inflammation of the mucosa of the eyes and usually occurs more commonly in young cats. Sometimes this infection can be a wake-up call about the existence of a more serious illness.

It is relatively simple to recognize it, because it is very similar to when people step on it. Among the most important symptoms we highlight these:

  • More appear legañas than usual and, in addition, they tend to have a very characteristic greenish yellow hue.
  • There is a constant tearing, as well as redness in the eyes.
  • The area is usually inflamed and the cat shows difficulty opening his eyes. Too itching is common, so try not to rub it or it could hurt yourself.
  • If the eye also secretes mucosa (similar to pus) could be chlamydiosis. The eyelids usually stick in these cases and the cornea could be affected.

If your cat has any of these symptoms, ask our veterinarians and remember to attach a photo to the consultation to make the diagnosis more accurate. If it is confirmed that it is a conjunctivitis, the veterinarian will show you the guidelines to follow and will indicate the best treatment for your cat.

How does feline juntivitis heal?

The first thing you should do is keep the eye area as clean as possible. To do this, use physiological serum with a sterile gauze or cotton. Do this at least 3 times a day and make sure your cat does not rub the affected area with its legs. Chamomile tea is good for soothing itching, in case you have it, although yes, wait for it to cool slightly before applying it.

Apart from this, the most common is that the veterinarian prescribes a few drops or some type of antibiotic ointment for at least a week. Before applying the treatment make sure the area is completely clean.

Causes of eye infections in cats

Kittens and adult cats alike can develop a series of eye infections. Some of them are race specific, while others are triggered by different factors. Here are the most common culprits:

  • Allergies
  • Bacteria
  • Virus
  • Fungal infections
  • External and internal parasites

It depends on the kitten's immune system, its DNA inheritance and its general health, as well as its surroundings. For example, your pet could develop eye problems if it resides in a house infested with bacteria and cigarette smoke. You could also get the problem by being in contact with infected animals.

Kittens in general are quite prone to eye infections. They are usually caused by the possible health conditions of their mother. In addition, an unhygienic environment can also make them prone to disease development.

Adult and elderly cats are prone to eye infections mainly due to defective genetic inheritance or weak immune systems.

Third eyelid

The third eyelid is just a membrane, which mostly remains hidden. Sometimes it can become visible or almost completely cover a cat's eye. The fact that the internal eyelid is shown indicates that there is something wrong with your pet's eyes: conjunctivitis, cancers, bacterial infections, inflammation of wounds, etc.

Some cats, such as albinos, have more sensitive eyes, while others are genetically prone to develop eye diseases. Either way, if the third eyelid is seen continuously, you should definitely look for a veterinarian.

Cataracts can also affect animals. The cataract is a fading or clouding, which is clearly visible among older kittens. It causes decreased vision during the day, as well as at night. Fortunately there are some medications, which could slow your pet's cataracts.


Similar to cataract, keratitis clouds the cat's eyes. It is an inflammation of the cat's cornea and may decrease your pet's vision. Unlike cataracts, it can affect cats of all ages.

Another eye infection that causes turbidity is glaucoma. It increases the pressure in the eye and causes swelling, reddish eyeballs, dilated pupils, excessive blinking and loss of vision.

This type of eye inflammation usually appears as a secondary infection of another disease. Treatment plans are available for all stages of glaucoma. However, the cat will need surgery, which will prevent the inflammation from spreading further.

Feline herpesvirus

Feline herpes virus known as FVH-1 is a common problem that can affect cats of all races and ages. Not only is he guilty of numerous health complications, but the worst part is that once it affects your kitten, it remains dormant in the feline system for the rest of his life.

FVH-1 causes infections in the nasal and ocular area, as well as other problematic results such as fever, loss of appetite and loss of sense of smell. Regardless of how severe and frightening it may seem, feline herpesvirus can be treated as the aforementioned eye infections or inflammations. The important thing is to detect the problem on time and seek the services of a good veterinarian.

Treatment of eye infections in cats and kittens

As a pet's father, myself I know how alarming all these infections are, especially considering that they can cause vision problems or loss of vision.

Fortunately, current medicine makes it possible to treat these eye infections.

Depending on the case and its severity, your veterinarian may prescribe various medications. If the infection has progressed, your kitten may need eye surgery. Even in such cases, treatment plans are variable and can save your pet's life.

The following symptoms of eye infections will help you detect an eye infection at an early stage:

  • Redness of the eyes
  • Pus and dirt in the eyes
  • Lethargy and depression
  • Vision problems
  • Loss of orientation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Other signs of discomfort

Veterinarians can perform a variety of tests to determine the problem. In some cases, your cat may not have any eye infections.

The most important thing is to carefully follow the doctor's advice and make sure that your kitten resides in a calm, comfortable and safe environment.

Stress can actually make your pet prone to developing eye infections. and other types of diseases. Treat your kitty wisely and make sure you meet all of your dietary, entertainment and medical care requirements.

Do not neglect the daily needs of your feline friend. He will appreciate you for your efforts from the bottom of his heart for the rest of his life.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis in your cat

Conjunctivitis in cats is more frequent than you imagine, not only appears in people, but also in our beloved pets. Always the best is prevention, That's why you have to keep the symptoms in mind so you don't realize the disease too late.

Conjunctivitis is caused by an inflammation of the eye membrane, causing the typical redness and excessive production of secretions. It is produced by dust, pollen or also by bacterial infections.

As we mentioned earlier, the main symptom is the redness of the eye, that at the beginning is a little more pink and that as time passes and we don't realize, the eye will redden completely.

It is a symptom that something happens to your cat if it is constantly scratching or It touches more than usual, This is because something bothers him.

Another of the clear symptoms of conjunctivitis are the secretions that the eyes may present, they can appear in different colors such as white, yellow and even green.

Your cat's eyes will swell a lot and they will also tear you constantly, something that will be very annoying.

But your cat's conjunctivitis can not only be caused by external agents, but also by some internal anomaly, such as a respiratory infection

If your cat suffers from conjunctivitis, you should take appropriate measures if you have other pets, as they could be spread.

It may be the extreme case that your cat also has a fever, pain and even if it is a respiratory infection, you may have a cough, sneeze and even close your eyes completely, something to avoid at all costs, taking it as soon as possible to the veterinarian.

How to treat your cat's conjunctivitis

The first thing you have to do is take your cat to the vet to assess the situation, In this way he will diagnose the disease and the causes, so the medication for the cure of conjunctivitis will be easier.

Something you have to keep in mind is that your cat doesn't rub his eyes, nor is it in places where there is dust or wind.

It is convenient that you often wash your eyes with physiological serum and gauze, This will keep your eye clean. But remember do not use cotton, since it could remain remains and worsen conjunctivitis.

If your cat has swollen eyes you can use some home remedies, such as chamomile. An infusion of this herb is prepared and once it is cold, apply it with gauze on your cat's eyes, this way you will relieve the itching and get the eyes to deflate.

Too there areeye baths for cats They present a difficulty in their eyes, they sell them in any pet store and also in veterinary clinics. It is a very economical and effective product, contains specific pH that respects your pet's organism and helps fight conjunctivitis.

Something also very important is that your cat is well fed and that your immune system is reinforced, This way your pet's body will be strong against any attack of any infection or bacteria.

You can check with your vet to give some vitamin supplement to your cat, but do not do it on your own, always consult with a professional.

Causes of conjunctivitis in cats

If you wonder why conjunctivitis occurs in cats, you should know that this condition can occur because of eye infections, allergies and various diseases, but especially those that affect the respiratory system. These diseases that have conjunctivitis among their symptoms are many and highly contagious, they also have a high probability of leaving ocular sequelae if not treated in time.

Other causes are the dirt from the environment in which the cat lives, since this will easily cause infections that will lead to conjunctivitis, not cleaning your cat's eyes, excess cold and drafts that cause colds and other respiratory diseases. Finally we add that they can also be given by some genetic problems that facilitate the onset of conjunctivitis.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis in cats

If you wonder how to know if your cat has conjunctivitis, we reveal that this eye condition can be easily detected by its most common symptoms, such as:

  • Irritation of the eye conjunctiva, that is, redness of the eyes and of their mucous membranes (internal part of the eyelids).
  • Much tearing constant that causes swelling of the eyes.
  • Abundant secretionthick eyepiece (excess of legañas), sometimes yellowish or greenish.
  • Appearance of third eyelid protrudes due to swelling.
  • Eyes closed or difficulty opening them due to swelling and secretions.
  • Itchy eyes, scratching and increased washing with the legs.
  • In advanced cases, it can happen corneal opacity.
  • Other symptoms in very durable cases are those changes in the color and shape of the iris.

Treatment of conjunctivitis in cats

From Expert Animal we recommend that if you identify any of the symptoms mentioned above in your cat partner do not hesitate to take him to the vet, since it can be a simple conjunctivitis due to mild problems or a symptom more than a really serious illness.

Once the specialist we prescribe proper treatmentSurely it also recommends that, in addition to medication, we do some cures at home. In this way, we can not indicate how to cure feline conjunctivitis definitively, since if we do not treat the underlying cause the eye condition will not stop appearing, but we can recommend how to clean the eyes and what products to use.

It is very important to remember that there are viral diseases that can cause many problems in addition to conjunctivitis, which have a vaccine and, therefore, we must follow the vaccination schedule. Likewise, once we have gone through this, if our pet relapses, we will notice it earlier and we can act at home with remedies to relieve symptoms and we can even prevent conjunctivitis.

How to cure conjunctivitis in cats?

Apart from the treatment stipulated by the veterinarian to combat the cause that causes the eye problem, we will probably recommend the use of physiological serum and sterile gauze to treat conjunctivitis in cats. In addition, with this product we manage to prevent the accumulation of dirt and dirt that can cause eye infections. To carry out a correct cleaning, we must always use different gauze for each eye and clean from the inside out.

It is very important that cotton is not used instead of a sterile gauze, since the cotton leaves filament residues hooked very easily and that becomes a foreign body in the eye of our cat causing several problems.

On the other hand, depending on the type of conjunctivitis, the veterinarian may prescribe the use of ophthalmic ointments. In any case, it should be a specialist who indicates which is the most appropriate and how to administer it. There are also products for sale in specialty pet stores such as artificial tears and eye baths.

With these products we help keep our eyes clean and hydrated while respecting the pH of our cat's eye. It is good to apply the droplets on the eyes, at the doses indicated by each product, then cover the eye with a damp cloth with warm water for a few minutes and then repeat it with the other eye with a different cloth.

Conjunctivitis in cats and antibiotic treatment

In some cases the veterinarian will prescribe the use of antibiotic eye drops, when the underlying cause of conjunctivitis requires it. It is important to note that, although we have antibiotics for human use or antibiotics for cats On an earlier occasion we should not use them if they are not expressly prescribed by the veterinarian, since we can aggravate the picture, in the case that the cause was different, permanently damaging the vision or organism of our feline.

Prognosis of conjunctivitis in cats

The prognosis is good in case of detect the problem early. If, on the other hand, conjunctivitis in cats is not treated, the prognosis will worsen over time. Keep in mind that relapses often occur in cats when they suffer from another disease at another time and their immune system weakens. In addition, depending on the disease that causes conjunctivitis, we must think that, even when our cat is cured, it can be a carrier of the pathology and transmit it to other cats.

For all the above, the important thing is to keep in mind that feline conjunctivitis is a picture that can occur in any specimen of any age and that can become catastrophic for the eye health of the sick cat if it is not diagnosed and treated time and thoroughly, losing sight completely.

1. Check your diet

With a adequate food We will make the cat have a strong immune system, which translates into a much faster and more successful recovery. Of course, depending on the underlying cause of feline conjunctivitis it will be necessary to adapt the diet to the state of the animal, so it will be the same veterinarian who indicates the guidelines to follow for these cases.

2. Apple or thyme infusion

If we see that our partner scratches his eyes a lot, we should try to prevent him from doing so, since it is most likely that he will end up getting a wound. For soothe itching, inflammation, redness and other symptoms while cleaning the eye, we can apply with a sterile gauze wrapped in the finger infusion of chamomile or thyme, in the same way that we have explained previously with the physiological serum.

3. Cold and heat for feline conjunctivitis

Yes we combine cold compresses with hot ones or temperate we reduce considerably the inflammation and eye irritation caused by conjunctivitis. For this reason, this is a home remedy for conjunctivitis in cats that has been used for decades in humans and, due to its effectiveness, has also moved to the animal world.

4. Proper hygiene

We must keep our cat's fur healthy and I clean. In this case we insist on the hair around the eyes that we can brush away from the eyes and trim it at home if we have the right material, or safer, take it to the specialized hairdresser. This will avoid irritations and eye infections.

5. Safety first

If we have several pets, it is best to separate those that are affected from the healthy ones to avoid contagion and, in addition, clean and disinfect their beds, blankets, etc.

On the other hand, we remember that one of the causes of conjunctivitis in cats are colds caused by air currents, so we must try to have house windows closed or narrowed. If we travel by car with the cat, we must think the same with the windows and with the air conditioning and try not to give directly to our pet.

Always, in case of seeing symptoms, we should take the cat to his veterinary specialist, since if it is a conjunctivitis, he probably recommends some medication in addition to what we can do from home.

Find out more about conjunctivitis in cats in this complete video of Animal Expert, in collaboration with the veterinarian Susana González, from the San José Veterinaris clinic:

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Conjunctivitis in cats - Causes, symptoms and treatment, we recommend you go to our Eye Problems section.